Working with iTunes – Part 2 of 3 (browsing and playing music)

continuing series of how to articles for iTunes software. This installment tells how to browse and play music.

How to Play Your Music

Once you have imported your favorite songs from the CD or have purchased them from the iTunes Music Store, you now have them in your library for you to play and listen to. With iTunes, you can just sit back, relax, and listen to your great music collection.

Once you have iTunes open, choose Library from the Source list to show all the songs in your library. Just select the song you want to listen to and click on the Play button on the upper left hand corner. If you want to adjust the volume, you can do so with the volume slider control just below the playback buttons.

With the iTunes display on the upper middle portion of the screen, you can see the title of the song currently playing, elapsed time, and a timeline. If you want to skip to a specific portion of the song, you can just click on any point on the timeline. If you want to skip to the next song, instead, you can do so by clicking on the Fast Forward button beside the Play button.

If you do not want to just listen to the song, you also have an option to “see” it. iTunes has a Music Visualizer which synchronizes with the song’s rhythm. You will surely enjoy this full-color light show while listening to your favorite music. If you want this Music Visualizer on, just go to Visualizer menu and click on Turn Visualizer On. To view your music library again, go back to the Visualizer menu and choose Turn Visualizer Off. Alternatively, you can quickly turn on and off the Music Visualizer with the Music Visualizer button on the bottom of the window just beside the Eject button.

You can also customize how the visualizer looks. You can choose a full screen size or opt for a much smaller window by resizing it. While the Music Visualizer window is playing, you can just press on the H key on your Mac keyboard to customize the window more.

For a real great listening experience, you can choose to connect a pair of high-end powered speakers to your Mac. With the use of an adapter cable, usually a mini-to-stereo RCA splitter cable, you can attach a home stereo system to your computer or iPod and enjoy to the great sound of your favorite music.

How to Browse and Search for Files in Your iTunes Library

Sometimes we feel the urge to some particular music. There are also times that we don’t know exactly what we want to listen to. Having hundreds or even thousands of music in your computer may be too overwhelming. With iTunes, browsing the music library and choosing the exact song you want to listen to is just an easy task.

If you want to browse the music library, choose Library in the Source list then click on the Browse button on the upper right hand side of the window. You will then have an Artist and Albums list. Just choose your desired artist from the Artist list and it will show the different albums of that artist that are in your music library. Choose the desired album to play and click on the Browse button again to return to your iTunes library where it shows the different songs included in the album selected.

Browsing by genre is also possible. To do so, go to the iTunes menu then select Preferences. Click on the icon labeled General and choose “Show genre when browsing,” and click OK. Once you click on the Browse button again, you will now see the list of different genre such as Pop, Rock, Country, Hip Hop, Jazz, etc, in the browsing pane to the left of the Artist list.

If you cannot see the whole album title or name of the artist from the browsing pane, you can adjust the right side of the pane. Just hover the mouse on the line separating the columns and it will change to a double-sided arrow. You can now adjust the line to the left or right to narrow or expand the viewing window, respectively.

On the other hand, if you know exactly the song you want to listen to and want to search for it, you can also do that easily with iTunes. Notice on the upper portion of the window, there is a search icon and a search box. Type the name of the song or just a part of it in the search box. Notice that with each word you type, the list populates more songs that somehow match your search criteria.

When you make a search, iTunes checks the Song Name, Artist, Composers and Albums fields. If you want an exact search, you can choose a category from where iTunes will do the search. You can do this by clicking on the search icon and select the desired category then type the search criteria in the field or search box. After making a search, you can go back to the iTunes library by clicking on the gray-and-white icon in the search field.

In the case that you upgraded iTunes from Mac OS 9 to the new iTunes 4 with Mac OS X, your music from the previous version may not be stored in the same place where the new version stores the files. It would be tedious to search for your desired song if your music are not found in a single location. To consolidate all your music files into just one folder, go to Advanced menu and select Consolidate Library.

iTunes also allows you to see how much hard disk space your music library has already consumed. When you have the Library selected from the Source list, you will see the total number of files you already have, their total running time, and the total combined file size of all the songs at the bottom portion of the iTunes window.

Working with iTunes – Part 3 of 3 (playlists and other apps)

The third installment of a three part series of articles on how to use iTunes software. This section deals with playlists and toher programs.

How to Organize Your Music Using Playlists

Organizing your music can also be done with iTunes. You can do this by creating different playlists that would correspond to every set of songs that you want to create. Using a playlist, you can select the songs you just want to play at a given time and choose their order as well depending on your preference.

To create a playlist, go to the File menu and click on New Playlist. A new entry on your Source list will be created. This entry will be an untitled playlist. Choose the untitled playlist and rename it to whatever that would best describe the songs in it. You can give names such as workout songs, relaxing classics, my hit list, etc. The possibilities are infinite.

Once you have created and named your playlist, choose the songs you want to add to the playlist from the library and drag them to the playlist. You can add as many songs as you want. As a shortcut, you can select all the songs you want to add at once by holding down the Command key (Ctrl key in Windows PC) while choosing the different songs and dragging the entire selection to the playlist.

To view the songs that you have just added in your playlist, choose the name of the playlist from the Source list. You can also change the order of the songs by selecting the song number and drag the song to the position desired.

A single song can also be added to multiple playlists if desired. To do so, just choose the song from your music library and drag it to the different playlists you want to add it to. If, on the other hand, you choose not to hear the song anymore, just deselect the song from your music library. Deselecting it from the library will also disable it from playing when the playlists it is included are played.

If you want to make your playlists play for only a specified period of time such as 30 minutes for your daily workout or as long as the movie you made, you can do so by getting the duration information for the playlist. This information is displayed on the bottom portion of the window as well as the number of songs in the playlist and the total size of the playlist.

Deleting a playlist is just like deleting any file. You just need to select the playlist from the Source list then press the delete key. This will only remove the playlist, and the songs which are included in the deleted playlist still remain in the music library.

How to Use Your Songs with Other Applications

iTunes is a part of the iLife suite by Apple Computer which also includes iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD. These applications are developed to work together. The songs you have in your iTunes music library can all be used with any of the other iLife applications as well as applications in a Windows-based computer.

You can, for example, use your favorite song compilation as soundtrack of the family movie you are doing in iMovie. You can enjoy viewing the different photos you have just taken by adding background music from your iTunes library in your photo slideshow in iPhoto.

To add background music to your iPhoto slideshow, choose your photo library from Source list in iPhoto. Click on the Slideshow button to open the Slideshow Settings window. Adjust the number of seconds the image will show onscreen depending on your preference. You will see a Music option in the window, click on the box beside to select it and choose iTunes Library from the menu. Choose the song that you want to play as the background music. Once done, click on the Play Slideshow button to playback the slideshow project.

If you want to add a song from your iTunes library to a presentation you created in Microsoft PowerPoint or Keynote, you can do so in just a few easy steps. Choose the song you want to use from your music library in iTunes. Once the song is selected, go to File menu and click on Show Song File. A representation of the music file will come up in a new Finder window. Click the song file and drag it to the Keynote or PowerPoint slide where you want to add it to.

Your favorite songs in your iTunes music library are not limited only for your listening pleasure. You can have a wide range of possible uses of those songs in different applications in your Mac or Windows-based computer.

Tropical Sounds from Hawaii

Last month we returned from our 6 week long journey through the Hawaiian islands, as well as vacationing we were recording sounds, taking video and of course swimming and boogie boarding.

I am back in the studio now and am starting to edit the collection of nature sounds we recorded while we wandering around in Maui, Kauai, Hawaii (the big island) and Ohau. The recordings are turning out surprisingly well I think.
Check out the tropical sounds on and I’ll probably make a few more relaxation CDs with some of these sounds.
If you need some quick free jungle sound effects for an educational or personal projects you can download them for free here.

Free Christmas Music: Public Domain Bach and Verdi Downloads

Just in time for your Christmas multimedia projects we have made available for download the Bach Brandenburg Concerto 6 mvt 1, Bach Three Part Inventions Sinfonia II, III, and Bach Air on a G String, plus Vivaldi’s Winter from Four Seasons.

These classical music tracks are perfect for use in your Christmas projects and were performed by the USAFB and are therefore in the public domain and available for use in your commercial projects.
If you need higher quality classical music for your Christmas projects please check out our Royalty Free Christmas Music website.

For a huge variety of Christmas background  music available for immediate download try royalty free music clips .com

Bach Brandenburg Concerto 6 mvt 1 <- right-click on link to download

Bach Three Part Inventions Sinfonia II & III <- right-click on link to download

Bach Air on a G String <- right-click on link to download

Vivaldi’s Winter from Four Seasons <- right-click on link to download

Download this Free Royalty Free Christmas Track

Partners In Rhyme is offering this rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful for free royalty free use for any of your personal or commercial Christmas projects.

O Come All Ye Faithful (right-click on this link to download)

We also have renditions of all the Christmas favorites in a wide variety of styles and genres. Here is a handy list of links our collection a royalty free Christmas tracks sorted by title:

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

We Three Kings

Holy Night

Deck The Halls

O Come All Ye Faithful

Silent Night

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Good King Wenceslas

The First Noel

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Jingle Bells

Away In A Manger

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

O Christmas Tree

Hope this list helps you with your Christmas multimedia projects.
Let me know if you have any questions.